Q. Why does orthodontic treatment relapse on not wearing retainers?

Answered by
Dr. Mayank Khandelwal
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on May 02, 2022


I have had braces, and I was stupid to get them even though my teeth were perfect before. Now I want them to relapse, but it feels like they stay in the same position even though I am not wearing a retainer. Is this possible to have no relapse?



Welcome to

I read your query and understand your concern.

Retainers are given to hold the teeth into their position after orthodontic treatment. If retainers are not worn, teeth might shift to other positions as it takes about one year for the bone to fully mature (retainers duration is also one year in most cases for this reason only).

However, if there have not been many changes in teeth during the treatment, teeth might stay in the same position even without retainers, or the changes have occurred but at a micro level, which you might not be able to see with the naked eyes.

As you mentioned that your dentition was near perfect before orthodontic treatment also, so there would have been minimal changes in teeth and surrounding tissues. Hence they do not have the relapse tendency without retainers.

It is possible to have no relapse without retainers.

Do reach out for further information or clarifications.

Thank you.

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